U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona approved Tuesday the request of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC to file under seal two of the four exhibits filed by their counsel in connection with a lawsuit filed by seven former workers against IPI and its contractor and subcontractor.
Manglona ordered that the two exhibits in Kelley Butcher’s declaration last Monday, March 30, shall be kept under seal.
IPI has submitted a declaration from Butcher in support of IPI’s opposition to the former workers’ second motion to sanction IPI.
Manglona said Butcher refers to four exhibits in her declaration, two of which are provided in support of her statement that she was and is required to travel to the U.S. mainland in order to assist a family member with serious medical conditions.
IPI has requested that the court maintain the two exhibits under seal as they contain personally identifiable, confidential, and potentially embarrassing medical information regarding a non-party to this lawsuit.
IPI said the public’s interest in viewing the information would be minimal, if not non-existent and that the seal should be maintained throughout the pendency of the lawsuit.
The judge said IPI has indicated that it is providing copies of these exhibits to the former workers’ counsel for their review in an unredacted format via email.
Last month, IPI hired former NMI Bar president Sean E. Frink and Catherine J. Cachero as its counsel in this case.
Frink and Cachero said Butcher will continue to be involved in this case.
The plaintiffs—Tianming Wang, Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Quingchun Xu, and Xiyang Du—are suing IPI, MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and MCC’s subcontractor Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC over the alleged injuries they suffered during accidents at the worksite of IPI’s resort/casino project in Garapan. The plaintiffs are all Chinese nationals.
Their counsels are Saipan lawyer Bruce Berline and New York-based attorney Aaron Halegua.
In its response to the lawsuit, IPI said any wage claims by the plaintiffs are barred because they voluntarily illegally entered the CNMI to work.